By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
At St. James' Park
Newcastle United 1 (Gouffran 28)
Southampton 1 (Rodriguez 67)
Yoan Gouffran scored his sixth goal of the season but Newcastle were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at home against Southampton in the Barclays Premier League.
The French forward tapped home just before the half-hour mark to put the Magpies ahead, after seizing upon a Jos Hooiveled mistake, but Southampton levelled through Jay Rodriguez midway through thesecond period.
Despite not dominating possession, United had the lion's share of the chances, with full-backs Mathieu Debuchy and Davide Santon both threatening from distance, while Loic Remy had two golden opportunities - one in each half - but .was unable to convert either.
The point means Alan Pardew's side have only lost one of their last seven games.
The hosts started well and forced a number of early corners, coming closest when Debuchy volleyed narrowly wide from 20 yards, having been picked out from the flag kick by Vurnon Anita.
They came even closer on 12 minutes. Shola Ameobi'scut-back into the area looked to be simple for Saints keeper Paulo Gazzaniga, but he was beaten to it inside the six-yard box by Gouffran.
The French wideman had the composure to pick out teammate Remy with a square pass, but the striker was denied his ninth goal of the season by a goalline clearance from Calum Chambers.
At the other end, James Ward-Prowse fired straight at Tim Krul from distance but United finally broke the deadlock on 28 minutes through Gouffran.
When Mike Williamson headed a free-kick back into the danger zone, Hooiveld completely missed his kick and Gouffran nipped in to round Gazzaniga and slot into the empty Gallowgate net.
The former Bordeaux man had now scored in four consecutive home games and it gave the hosts a real boost.
Santon went in search of number two, trying his luck direct from a free-kick but Newcastle had to settle for just a single-goal lead at the break.
Southampton made a double change at the interval, introducing Morgan Schneiderlin and Adam Lallana for James Ward-Prowse and Dani Osvaldo.
But it was the home side who produced the firstchance of the second period, Gazzaniga saving well from Remy, who latched on to Shola Ameobi's header to fire in a shot from the edge of the area.
Ameobi then had a go himself, nodding Anita's right-wing corner down into the ground but well wide of the target.
Saints came a lick of paint away from levelling on 64 minutes and it came out of nothing - Davis teeing himself up 25 yards out before slamming a brilliant volley against the woodwork.
And that served as a warning, as within two minutes they had equalised. Breaking at pace, Rodriguez knocked the ball into Davis' path and, on receiving it back, calmly swept home past Krul.
United responded quickly, with Mathieu Debuchy seeing a prodded effort saved by Gazzaniga after the visitors failed to clear their lines from a corner, but at the other end Krul had to scramble away a Rodriguez close-range header.
And then came a glorious moment for the hosts to regain their advantage. Gazzaniga sliced a clearance straight into the path of Remy and the front man, one-on-one, looked certain to fire the Magpies back in front.
However, with only the keeper to beat, the normally-prolific Remy somehow sidefooted wide at the Leazes End.
Substitute Hatem Ben Arfa almost found the smallest of gaps at the near post from a free-kick out on the right, but his in-swinger was deflected behind by Gazzaniga, before Cheick Tiote drove narrowly wide from 25 yards.
Massadio Haidara was also unable to beat Gazzaniga deep into stoppage time as United were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Davide Santon (Massadio Haidara 78); Moussa Sissoko, Cheick Tiote, Vurnon Anita, Yoan Gouffran (Hatem Ben Arfa 73); Shola Ameobi (Papiss Cisse 60), Loic Remy
Southampton (4-2-3-1): Paulo Gazzaniga, Calum Chambers, Dejan Lovren, Jos Hooiveld, Luke Shaw; Steven Davis, James Ward-Prowse (Morgan Schneiderlin 46), Jack Cork, Jay Rodriguez (Sam Gallagher 90); Rickie Lambert (c), Dani Osvaldo (Adam Lallana 46)
Subs not used: Cody Cropper, Maya Yoshida, Jose Fonte, Gaston Ramirez
Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)
Bookings: Newcastle - none; Southampton - Cork (65), Schneiderlin (90)
Attendance: 49,164 (1,200 Southampton)